I like the snake on your tattoo
I like the ivy and the ink blue
You have to take me right now
From this dark trailer park life now
Burnt out cigarette buds, empty beer cans, dirty clothing and even dirtier dishes. This was the image Yoon Bum woke-up to every morning from where he slept on the foldout couch his uncle’s trailer; nothing ever got cleaned around here, not the inside of the trailer, not the outside, a fitting description for the remainder of their trailer park life. Bum’s uncle was an absolute slob, which in turn made Bum a slob as well, though he at least hung a few air fresheners around their small living space in case someone who cared about scents came over. But none of his uncle’s friends ever cared. They just took their drugs, handed Bum or his uncle cash, watched his uncle use him sometimes and then left.
Everyone always left.
Yoon thought about this as he sat outside on the trailer steps, watching people filter by without so much as glancing around. They knew what kind of life they had, and no one else surrounding them differed—if anything, they avoided looking at Bum because they knew his uncle sold cocaine. Not everyone in their shitty neighborhood made their situation worse by adding drugs to the polluted picture…most did, though, and Bum’s uncle was their main supplier. When he wasn’t paying his nephew pay to stay here with his body, he was selling and dealing. Today, Arizona was hot, desert around them burning, air humid and causing Yoon to sweat profusely through his green tank top; he didn’t know where his uncle went, but he had been left a note that instructed him to watch for the usual customers, and so, Bum sat outside and baked to death, desperately waiting for any kind of breeze to blow through their camp.
“It’s too hot…”
No one heard Bum’s statement of the obvious, but for a second it sounded like someone reacted—the roaring of a loud engine tore through the camp, echoing until it became closer and closer to Bum’s trailer. Having never heard such a thrilling noise before, Bum sat up straight, shielding his eyes from the bright sun just in time to see someone skid to an abrupt stop right in front of their trailer. Dust flew through the air, making Bum cough as the motorcycle driver cut the engine, park becoming eerily silent as clouds of sand settled around them.
And just like that, the trailer park didn’t seem so glum.
Yoon Bum squinted through sunlight, eyes widening when the motorcycle driver slid off his bike; he wasn’t wearing a helmet, nor was he wearing sleeves, black t-shirt cuffs having been cut off accommodating the hot weather. His jeans were torn and light colored, grease stained and fitting him oh so well. Bum scanned over this newcomer’s body, immediately taking note of the snake tattoo on the man’s left bicep, blue and violet ink warping around toned muscle, more muscle than Bum had ever seen on a young man before. His tan hair looked golden underneath bright sun rays, dark undercut freshly shaved and slightly moist with sweat even though he hadn’t been wearing a helmet—Bum was still staring even when the person stepped forward, dark, dangerous eyes crinkling as thin lips flashed him a charming smile.
“This the place with yayo?”
Is he talking to me? Of course he is. Who else sells yayos here?
“Is he home?”
Bum quickly shook his head. Normally he would offer to take the man inside, but his uncle warned him about not letting new customers in before they were well acquainted. Bum wanted to be well acquainted with this young man, hurriedly trying to fix his posture and gather back his voice to start a new conversation; the motorcyclist beat him to it, though, sighing heavily and plopping down on the bottom step below Bum.
“Jeez…what’s a guy got to do to get some quick and easy yayo around here?”
“There…There are a few things you can do,” Yoon Bum answered shakily. This biker, this handsome, rugged biker was so close to him already, large arms frighteningly toned and within less than half a foot from Bum. He resisted a sudden urge to touch them, distracted by the other man turning towards him, cocking one of those arched eyebrows in thought.
“Yeah? Name one.”
“Well…my uncle usually accepts money as payment.”
“Duh. What else?”
“Well…” Say it, say it. “If you did me a favor…I c-could give you some.”
An impressed smile lit up the stranger’s face. He couldn’t have been much younger than Bum, but his confidence level was off the charts; as if it wasn’t hot enough out, the biker leaned up closer to Yoon, right up in his face with that sick smile that could have easily seduced anyone.
“Name’s Sangwoo,” He said. “And you are?”
“Alright, Bum—tell me what it is you desire,” Sangwoo continued, running a large hand through his wavy hair and using his sweat to slick it back.
Panic overcame Bum very quickly. He had the guts to suggest favors, but wasn’t sure he had enough to actually say what he wanted from Sangwoo. His eyes must have betrayed his interest, however, scanning over the biker’s body until a long minute had passed without anyone speaking; Sangwoo smirked again, but it wasn’t a happy smirk—more like a “I caught you” smirk, just like Bum’s uncle.
“Oh; so you’re a pervert, huh?”
Yoon’s face flushed even darker than the sun caused, and he shrunk under Sangwoo’s knowing laugh.
“That’s okay. I know a lot of perverts, being out on the open road all the time…but you’re probably one of the cuter ones I’ve met.”
Huh? Bum thought, startled by the sudden compliment. But Sangwoo was smiling at him, which made Bum smile as well, ducking his head to avoid being seen. The biker must have caught it, though, because he gave another warm chuckle that made Bum’s heart race.
“I gotta hand it to you for going after what you want. That’s the only way people make it in this world…hey, how old are you?”
“Twenty-nine…how…how old are you?”
“Twenty-two,” Sangwoo answered. He leaned back on both elbows, now, laying his head right onto Bum’s lap. “You still live here with your uncle, hm? How long has that been going on?”
“Since I was twelve.” Bum swallowed tightly, not used to this kind of physical contact. Despite the raging Arizona heat, Sangwoo’s warmth was most welcomed; Yoon Bum never liked being touched, but he craved it every waking moment, wanted to be held and loved by someone like Sangwoo, someone who would protect him from himself…
“And you like it? Dealing drugs with your uncle? You an addict or something?” Sangwoo wondered, closing his eyes and letting the sun bear down on his exposed neck.
“No…I only do it—when I’m sad,” Bum revealed shamefully, squirming underneath the biker.
“Won’t shooting up your nose make you even more sad?”
Yoon Bum didn’t reply to that. He didn’t really know what to say, never knew what to say when people talked down to him—Uncle says that, too, Bum recalled. He says it’s all in my head, that a few hits should do the trick, but…I still feel bad even after it’s all over. Does Sangwoo know how that feels?
“I get it, though,” The biker said suddenly, sitting up and turning around on the steps to face Bum. His tattoo glistened under sunlight, venomous snake looking more seducing than frightening. “You do it as a distraction, right? But then when you come off the high you feel even worse than before, and you’re left with a wide-open hole in your chest—am I right?”
Black eyes widened, head nodding at Sangwoo’s revelation. In all honesty, Sangwoo thought this kid was rather pathetic, sitting outside waiting for his loser of an uncle to come back from God knows where, still ghostly pale despite where they lived; Bum probably didn’t have any friends, probably only ever had his uncle to talk to when they weren’t getting high off their asses…pathetic. But the desperation oozing off Yoon Bum was flattering, how easily he fell to Sangwoo’s charm and his own sexual desire—Sangwoo knew how guys like this operated, and he planned on taking full advantage.
“Mind if we go inside and chat about this? It’s like, a hundred degrees out here.”
“Oh. Yes, please come in, Sangwoo!”
Bum tripped up the stairs, ripping the trailer door open for Sangwoo, who was met with a mixture of several nauseating scents: dirty food containers, takeout, clothing, booze, used syringes and various other paraphernalia were scattered about the trailer. It was a wonder they ever found the cocaine to sell to people. Sangwoo coughed a few times, but Bum didn’t really notice, too busy watching the biker’s every move and far too nose blind to realize how powerful the stench was. A small bedroom sat in the back, bathroom without a door in the hall and what was apparently Bum’s bed slid into the wall for more walking space—simply put, it was trash. Sangwoo huffed to himself, sliding some dirty dishes over so he could sit on the kitchen counter. Yoon Bum stood aside, nervously swaying in his athletic shorts and crusty green tank top, a silly, weirdly giddy look on his face.
“Want me to clean your trailer for you and call it even?”
Bum paused before shaking his head, not seeing anything that needed cleaning. Sangwoo was too handsome to be a maid, anyway.
“Well, then, what do you want? Should I leave the money here for your uncle?”
When Sangwoo averted his attention back to Bum, he found himself being stared at, hard, beady black eyes burning a whole through his head. Their gaze went from his face, across his chest, past his stomach, hovering lower for an instant before going back up to his expression. Of course. Bum’s uncle was the businessman, but leaving his nephew alone had been a poor choice, since the kid was so desperate for human affection he would go so far as to forgo payment for drugs if it meant getting some. The word pathetic went through Sangwoo’s mind again, but he considered the manner while Yoon continued staring.
Free drugs in exchange for jerking off some old man, the biker thought, seeing Bum shyly look down when his stare was returned. That wouldn’t be worth it for a one-time gig, but…if I kept this going for a while…it would be nice saving some money. All the kid wants is someone, anyone to hold him for a night or two—that’s a lot of free hits. And if I even pretend to be his boyfriend, I bet I would get a “family discount” of sorts. Maybe his uncle would even let me in on the action.
Ugh. Fucking perverts.
Bum startled when he was advanced on, taller man getting right up in his personal space, trapping Yoon against the door with his arms.
“I see,” Sangwoo whispered against Bum’s forehead, messing his greasy bangs up. “You want something better than money.”
A large hand, rough as ever, slid downwards and took Yoon’s hand in its palm, igniting a powerful wave of emotion from Bum, whose eyes were wider than the Arizona sun. Sangwoo spoke darkly, deliberately, words clear in their intent—they knew exactly what Bum desired.
“You want me.”
The biker smiled down, practically feeling the shorter male’s heart beat faster and faster. He believed him with every pounce of his being. For a minute, Sangwoo did, too.
“Yes,” Bum trembled, tightening their grip below. “I want you.”
Sangwoo the biker took Yoon Bum on the foldout that afternoon; they laid together basking in the heat of the trailer afterwards, Bum saying he had never been so happy in his entire life. His uncle wouldn’t be back until tomorrow afternoon, so Sangwoo took the free opportunity to sleep under a roof, however stinky and rotten it was. Bum showed him where his uncle kept the yayo and gave him a significant amount, but Sangwoo, feeling generous, shared a few hits with the gullible young man, sneaking in a few kisses here and there for extra credit. When he left the next morning, Bum kissed him, turning it into a make-out on the motorcycle before finally letting go—but not before throwing his arms around Sangwoo and whispering in his ear.
“I had a really nice time last night…please, come back soon—daddy.”
Sangwoo did come back. He came back very often.
At first, Bum’s uncle liked the consistent company, the good publicity that came with Sangwoo and his biker friends; but after a month or so, he seemed to realize his stash was low for no apparent reason, and discovered that Bum was giving his boyfriend free hits whenever they spent a night together, whether it was in the trailer or at a nearby hotel in the city. Two of the worst beatings Bum had ever received came after this realization, but for some reason, the next time Yoon snuck another packet from the stash, his uncle didn’t do anything. He knew it was gone, and he knew where Bum was taking it, but no beating followed. To a small extent, Yoon Bum felt bad he was losing his uncle money—that regret faded whenever Sangwoo pulled up on his motorcycle and asked if he wanted to go for a ride. What he didn’t know was that Sangwoo threatened to call the police on his uncle if he turned them in for stealing, breaking one of his fingers as a point proven.
Sometimes they would go to Sangwoo’s trailer in a different part of town. Sometimes they took hits on the top of Bum’s trailer, making love at night when it was cool and where others could probably see, but Sangwoo assured Bum that no one was watching. They smoked cigarettes after, exchanging kisses between each drag. Their neighbors shut the shades whenever the familiar roar of Sangwoo’s black motorcycle erupted the trailer park silence—they didn’t want to see Yoon Bum throw more of his life away, didn’t want to see his red nostrils or decaying body frame. Sangwoo looked the same as ever, arm thrown around his lover like they were newlyweds, sneaking inside once Bum’s uncle had left for the night to play poker.
This went on for three month, the happiest time of Bum’s life, the first time in his life he received presents, new shirts, shoes, some jewelry, even, things his uncle didn’t dare steal and pawn out of fear for Sangwoo, though he had yet to offer the young male a job as his dealer equal. The creepy trailer park felt a little brighter whenever Sangwoo was around—at least, to Bum. His uncle had different ideas, and his rage came to a high one summer night when he found that Sangwoo and Bum had taken a special order, an entire kilo and a half of cocaine made for someone who needed to be paid off.
“Yoon Bum!” His uncle shouted, ripping the trailer door open. Bum scrambled from his foldout, standing fearfully in the small space. “Did you give Sangwoo that special yayo?! Did you?!”
“W-We just…took a little…”
Bum’s uncle grabbed onto his hair, jerking him forward and practically pulling a shrieking Yoon Bum off his feet.
“You call a kilo-and-a-half a little? You selfish little prick—I could kill you with my bare hands right now, you know that?! You’ve been using me all this time, and I’ve had enough!”
His uncle plunged a heavy fist into Bum’s stomach, taking his breath away with only one strike, though he continued to rain blows upon his nephew’s fragile body, bruising pale flesh and damaging muscles below.
“I’ll teach you—fucking pervert—how do you like that, huh?! Tell me!”
“Un-cle,” Bum coughed, crying, pleading, grabbing onto his uncle’s wrists pathetically. “S-Stop, ple-ase—”
Something smashed into Yoon Bum’s uncle’s head hard, sending him crashing to the ground, hands limply releasing their violent hold; glancing up, Bum saw Sangwoo, his hero, his knight in shining armor holding a baseball bat.
“S-Sangwoo!” Bum cried desperately, weakly crawling over to grab onto the male’s legs. “W-We have to go! Hurry!”
“We’re not leaving,” Sangwoo said distantly. Finally, his eyes, his void, empty eyes looked down at Bum. “We’re ending this.”
Bum flinched, flinched again, was pushed aside as the baseball bat came down against his uncle’s skull repeatedly, banging against bone again and again and again. Wood splintered, cracked but never fully broke, Sangwoo quickly pulling the object back before using all his strength to bring it down once more. Blood splattered all over Bum and on the floor, cabinets and clothes lying around, droplets turning into broken flesh and pieces of bone—he watched, eyes huge, horrified as his own uncle’s face was ripped apart, cracking down the middle, face practically sawed in half with how violently Sangwoo was swinging down. His nose, his chin, his jaw were no more, mounds of nothing, splattered on the tile below until one final stroke made its way through: Bum screamed at the same time his uncle’s skull was broken clear in half, nothing left but an ocean of blood, sharp bone splinters and a large mound of smashed brain.
The entire trailer park seemed to be dead silent, echoes of a hard object being rammed against his uncle’s head harassing Bum’s mind, thumping like a heartbeat, each swing replaying itself, each stroke of anger pulverizing the cocaine dealer until he was nothing but a pile…
“O-Oh no…oh no…oh my g-od—S-S-Sangwoo, Sangwoo—”
Seeing that Bum was unable to move, Sangwoo lifted him up, holding his boyfriend on his feet while trying to talk him down, to distract from the horrifying image of his only living relative dead, massacred, brutalized on the kitchen floor—
“Hey. Bum. Look at me, okay? Don’t look at him, look at me.”
“S-Sangwoo,” Yoon blubbered, clutching onto him for dear life, tears streaming down his face. “We—We have to help him! We…have to…”
The biker’s casual, careless tone took Bum by surprise, and his quivering mouth clamped shut.
“The one person holding us back is dead, Yoon Bum,” Sangwoo continued in a softer tone. “You don’t have to be afraid of him anymore. He can’t hurt you, or us, ever again.”
“Don’t you love me?”
“Yes—I love you, Sangwoo!” Bum said in a hurry, needing to confirm it so Sangwoo wouldn’t be afraid, too. “I love you!”
“So, let’s do it.”
Sangwoo peered back up. There was blood and brain splattered on his white t-shirt, and his eyes were a dangerous shade, but Bum still loved him. He loved him more than he feared his uncle, who was now dead, gone, nothing. Like he said…there was no one stopping them, now.
“Let’s get married.”
Put me onto your black motorcycle
50’s baby doll dress for my "I do"
It only takes two hours to Nevada
I wear your sparkle, you call me your mama
Let me put on a show for you, daddy
Let me put on a show
Let me put on a show for you, tiger
Let me put on a show
I need you like a baby when I hold you
Like a druggy, like I told you
They had an hour to get ready. Sangwoo went out for supplies of some sort while Bum cleaned up the kitchen, pulling what remained of his uncle into a sheet and using all his strength to hide the body in his foldup bed. With some effort, the bed stayed in the wall, though it felt as if his uncle was still alive, watching his every move, even though Bum had seem his eye sockets explode, broken by the baseball bat now hiding in the bathroom…Sangwoo returned quickly, holding a fancy box towards his boyfriend. He also had on a new outfit, a nice black jacket and white dress shirt, though no tie—he still looked handsome, and Bum smiled when he realized this man would be his husband in a few short hours.
“You look nice…”
“Yeah. I got this for you; go put it on, I’ll grab the yayo and we’ll leave. Alright?”
Bum nodded, sliding off the velvet ribbon and peeking inside the box; he reached in and pulled out the top, only it wasn’t a top—
It was a dress.
The fluttering bottom was swing style, white with lace trim and a tiny waist, long puffy sleeves that went far past Bum’s wrists, like a dress a woman would wear in the 1950’s. He held it up over his torso in confusion, wondering if the yayo they snorted earlier had done something to affect his vision.
“Sangwoo, this is—”
“This is…a dress.”
“What, you don’t want to wear a dress?” Sangwoo questioned sharply at the doorway of the trailer. Suddenly, his eyes went dark with fury and feigned hurt. “Are you saying you don’t want to marry me?”
“No!” Bum cried frantically, clutching the dress closer. “I do, I do want to marry you, Sangwoo!”
“Then what’s the problem?”
Yoon Bum bit his lip anxiously, glancing down at the fabric again in contemplation.
“We leave in fifteen minutes; I’ll be waiting outside. Get dressed and let’s get the hell out of here.”
Bum obeyed dutifully. The dress hardly went past his butt, and he kept having to pull it down as he hurried past his uncle and the bloody mess still covering the kitchen tile; Sangwoo already had the motorcycle running and his bag packed full of what yayo remained, resting over his torso. He revved the engine and motioned for Bum to hurry, speeding off the second his boyfriend’s thin, shaking arms wrapped around his body.
They were in Nevada in just under two hours.
“W-Why are we here?” Bum asked when Sangwoo pulled up to a 24/7 church covered in neon signs and graffiti. “Why couldn’t we get married—”
“You know, Bum, I’m really starting to think you don’t want to marry me at all,” Sangwoo said defensively, turning on the other. “I brought us here to have a beautiful wedding, away from the trailer park and away from your uncle—I thought you wanted the same things I did.”
“I do! I do, Sangwoo!”
“Then come on—take my hand.”
Bum looked down. That hand had touched him, caressed and brought him to life on so many occasions. It also held cigarettes for him, stroked his hair, held a baseball bat while Sangwoo crushed someone’s skull into a million pieces…but…he would never do that to him, right? They were safe, now, out of the trailer park, away from everyone who judged them and their relationship. They were free to be together, to love each other, and Sangwoo promised Bum would never be hurt again.
He took Sangwoo’s hand, brushing the lace sleeve back so he could feel every rough patch of skin against his own. The biker grinned.
The ceremony was quick, straight to the point, but it was the greatest moment of Bum’s existence; the priest said lovely things about their union, how they would be together forever, and Bum was happy enough to convince himself they would both make it into heaven someday, where they could continue their love and maybe even see his uncle in a new light. Sure, his dress was short, itchy, didn’t suit his color at all, but Sangwoo—Sangwoo looked handsome enough for the both of them. Standing across, holding Bum’s hands like a priceless vase, nodding at pretty verses and smiling at Bum whenever his affection overwhelmed him…
This was paradise.
“Do you, Yoon Bum, take Oh Sangwoo to be your protector, your husband, through sickness and in health?”
“I do,” Bum cried, willing tears out of his eyes.
“And do you, Oh Sangwoo, take Yoon Bum to be your husband, till death do you part?”
Sangwoo smiled brightly, squeezing his husband’s hands tighter.
It was the least he could do for Bum before death did they part.
“Haha!” Bum cheered as they exited the church, running towards their bike. “We’re married! Married, Sangwoo!”
“We are,” The taller man smiled. Yoon didn’t notice he had his bag over his shoulder during the entire ceremony, and now checked to make sure nothing had fallen out. “Where should we go for our honeymoon? Las Vegas?”
“Yes! Let’s go there, Sangwoo!”
“What was that last part?” Sangwoo teased, giving him a jokingly dangerous look. At least, Bum thought he was joking and giggled, leaning against him snugly, hoping his husband could feel his boner through the dress.
“Let’s go to Vegas, daddy.”
“No. The other one.”
Bum was puzzled by this reply, taking a minute to wonder what Sangwoo meant by that.
Shrugging it off, Bum held on tightly as Sangwoo sped out of the parking lot, silver ring shining on his left hand as they drove into the night. It was getting cold, but Bum was too happy to feel at first, laughing and cheering behind his husband; they went onto a strange road where no one else was driving, gravel scattered on their path and making the ride a little rougher. Sangwoo didn’t slow down, however, in fact, Bum was pretty sure he was speeding up.
“Um…Sangwoo?” Bum shouted over the roar of the engine. The motorcycle jerked a bit, hitting a pebble at a bad angle. “You should slow down!”
“Sorry, I can’t hear you!”
Sangwoo might not have been able to hear his husband, but he could hear the distant cry of sirens trailing behind them. Bum heard a moment after, eyes widening in shock, the terrible memory of his uncle rushing back and ruining his daydreams of Las Vegas honeymoons, champagne and caviar, breakfast in bed with Sangwoo, his savior, his lover…all that would be gone.
Someone knew. Someone knew about uncle, and they were coming for them.
“Do you hear th—”
A gasp finished the rest of Bum’s sentence as the motorcycle took a violent hit from something below; Sangwoo let out a curse, jerking the handlebars left to regain control, but at this speed it caused him to over rotate. The front tire went airborne, smashing back down and immediately spinning out—Bum only had a short second to close his eyes before they crashed into something.
An explosion of awful breaking noises assaulted Bum’s ears as he desperately went to grab at Sangwoo, only to find his figure long gone; various portions of pain invaded parts of his body, and Bum thought back to his poor uncle, all that blood and blood and blood gushing onto the floor as he was murdered, and Yoon wondered if Sangwoo would cry when he found him in a similar state, wondered if he would get revenge on karma for taking his husband away—
For the shortest and longest moment of Yoon Bum’s life, his mind was quiet.
Nothing hurt before everything hurt a second later, horrible agony erupting in Bum’s side, chest, left leg, collarbone, his neck, everything. Familiar with the taste of blood, Bum recognized it inside his mouth but didn’t have time to figure out exactly where it was coming from; something was broken, maybe more than one thing, and his head (still attached) was aching like no tomorrow, noises ringing like bells and pounding against the front of his skull, as if trying to get his attention. More blood splattered out when he coughed, struggling to move his aching body, limp and shaking on desert sand as the world returned.
He couldn’t move. He couldn’t feel his foot, his arm was numb, something warm was dripping all over his body, and he couldn’t feel or hear Sangwoo anywhere—panic began to set in the harder Bum tried moving, only to be overcome by throbbing pain and more gushing blood.
“Sangwoo!” Bum screamed, tears combining with blood smeared on his cheek. “Sangwoo!!!”
Police sirens attacked Yoon’s ear drums, constantly reminding him of their daunting presence as he cried out again and again, using his right arm to try and dig forward, to crawl anywhere in hopes of finding his husband. Blood dripped from his mouth, falling into the dirt below as cool summer air made every open wound sting even worse than before, causing every broken bone more agony. Bum cried, sobbed, shouted for Sangwoo and was enlightened when he thought he heard someone say his name in the distance—forcing swollen eyelids open, through an unknown bright yellow light, Bum thought he saw a blurry human figure picking something up not five-feet from him.
His working arm collapsed before it could pull him closer.
“I could sell this for a fortune in Las Vegas,” Sangwoo’s voice said, laughter and spite filling his tone.
That couldn’t be right. Bum was hallucinating, right? Sangwoo was probably hurt, just as badly as he was, maybe even worse. He couldn’t be talking so easily. Yoon Bum whimpered, clutching his shattered ribs in pain while begging for his lover, praying for someone to come find them so they could go on their honeymoon together. He needed to get to Las Vegas. They needed their honeymoon to start their new life off right together. But the more this unknown voice spoke, the more it resembled Sangwoo.
“Tch…you’re in tough shape, aren’t ya? I’m not doing too hot myself, but I’ll be okay—you just keep lying there and play the victim like always. That’ll distract them long enough for me to disappear.”
“S…Sang…woo,” Bum choked. “I’m…h-here…”
Something pressed against the back of his neck, making Yoon cry out in agony; that, he knew was real, and as his eyes burst open again, still struggling to see through yellow light and unable to rid his memory of the irritating sirens going off close to them, Bum realized something else was real, too: beside a fallen kilo of yayo was Sangwoo’s wedding ring. It had fallen from the sky, somewhere above him, whoever was standing above him, falling into the dirt below, lost forever when a whipping wind blew sand over top of it. Bum lost track of its location once the packet was picked up by a familiar rough hand covered in dark blood.
It hurt. It all hurt so badly. Yoon Bum wanted to scream for help, but his body refused to work, became so cold he wondered if he were already dead, stranded in the desert without his husband, without anyone to protect him. The wedding ring on his own finger felt like an icicle, freezing his tendons with the hopes that the limb would fall off. Whatever blood spilling out of his skin had no warmth remaining, and the last words he heard from that cool tone were the coldest of them all.
“Thanks for the head start, hubby.”
Bum could no longer move. His ears still worked, however, drowning out the sirens and leaving only one sound left—the sound of heavy footsteps running away, running away from him, into the dark of the summer night.
Let me put on a show for you, daddy
Let me put on a show
Let me put on a show for you, tiger
Let me put on a show
Hello, heaven, you are a tunnel-lined
With yellow lights on a dark night